Booking Through Thursday: Poetry

It seems like I’m always asking about actual books … but what about poetry? Do you read it? Write it? Like it? Not like it? Do you prefer song lyrics? (Because we can all agree there’s a relation between poems and lyrics, right?)

I do read it, although I feel like my poetry collection is seriously lacking. Part of the problem is when I find poets I like, especially classic poets, I don’t just want “selected works”–I want the full collection. So holding out for that means I’m missing a lot right now, but at least I can collect from contemporary (and sometimes local!) poets. I’m starting to love poetry more as I find more. Modern poets are using language and form in really great ways, but I also love the rhyme and rhythm of the classics. In fact, rhythm is one of my favorite things about poetry.

I have written some poetry, but it’s rare and I have zero confidence in it, mostly because it’s not a form I was taught and it’s not a form I usually work in, or one that I’ve read a lot of. I mean, as much as I enjoy it, I’ve read far more prose and I write prose, specifically creative nonfiction. So there’s the typical self-doubt that comes with writing as it is, and then there’s the special kind of self-doubt that comes with working outside of your usual form.

Generally, I don’t prefer song lyrics, although I think the two are closely related enough and some songwriters are talented enough that I do think there’s a lot of overlap, and in some instances–and I know some might disagree with me on this–I think the only difference between a poem and a song is music. That said, I think there are plenty of terrible lyrics in music, with mainstream pop and modern country being the biggest offenders.

Bottom line: I’m all for poetry. I need to read more, we should all probably read more, and those of you writing it–keep on keepin’ on and teach me your ways.

As always, from Booking Through Thursday.


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